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Airports Policy

Volume 955: debated on Thursday 3 August 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade what progress has been made regarding the establishment of the advisory machinery foreshadowed in the White Paper on airports policy.

The White Paper on airports policy (Cmnd. 7084) emphasised the Government's intention to continue to develop future airports policy in consultation with those concerned. In addition, it stated that, in view of the particular interests of local planning authorities, an appropriate formal structure would be discussed with local authority associations to ensure that their interests are taken into account in the evaluation of, and the formulation of advice on, the longer-term airport options.Following consultations with those concerned, I have decided to establish an Advisory Committee on Airports Policy and a study group on south-east airports whose immediate task will be to give detailed consideration to the long term options for handling air transport demand in the London area which are outlined in the White Paper. Both the committee and the study group will be chaired by a senior official of my Department. They will include representatives of Government Departments, the Civil Aviation Authority, the British Airports Authority, the airlines, local authority interests, the Trades Union Congress, the Air Transport Users Committee and the Noise Advisory Council. The composition of the two groups will therefore reflect the principal interests concerned with the airside and landside aspects of airport development. I expect that they will hold their first meetings in September.It is the Government's intention that the work of the advisory committee and the study group should form the basis for consultations with a wide range of interests in order that the views of all those concerned with or affected by proposed airport developments might be taken into account before decisions are reached.